Literatures is a piece of writings that are valued as a word of art. The literature works maybe novels, plays, or poems, fiction or non-fiction that have long-lasting importance. It is also known as the preserved writings of a certain language or people. It is used to describe anything from the creative works including any technical works, scientific works. Fictional literature includes plays, poems, short stories, and songs. The non-fictional literature includes biographies, autobiographies, essays, newspapers, journals, essays, and diaries. The four Dravidian languages in India had developed their works of literature. These Dravidian languages are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.
Tamil, being the oldest language among these developed the Sangam literature. Sangama literature is the oldest literature in Tamil. Tamil as a written language came into light during the Christian era. The literature of the Tamil language was compiled together in 600 AD. The poets in the assemblies who helped in gathering the Sangam literature over 3 to 4 centuries were patronized by the kings and chieftains. Poets from various parts of south India gathered in Madurai and these assemblies are known as sangams and the literature produced in these assemblies is known as “Sangama literature”. The Sangam literature was the collection of poems and songs written by different poets praising the heroes and heroines. This literature was unique and high in quality. Three sangams were held. The literature collected in the first Sangam was lost. About 2000 poems with more than 30000 lines of poetry have been found in the second Sangam.
There were two main groups. They are Pathinenkilkanaku and Pathinenmelkanaku. The eight anthologies named Ettuthogai and the ten songs named Patthupaatu come under Pathinenmelkanaku. Pathinenkilkanaku has eighteen works about ethics and morals. The most important work among these is Thirukural written by Tiruvalluvar. Thirukural is divided into three parts. The first part deals with epics, the second part deals with polity and government, and the last part deals with love. Besides this Sangam literature, there is a work named Tholkaapiam which deals with grammar and poetry. Around the 6th century, there were two famous epics namely Silapathikkaram and Manimegalai. During the 6th to 12th century, Tamil devotional poems written by Alwars and Nayanmaars impacts the Bhakti movement. Kambaramayanam and Periya puraanam were two literaaly classic works.
The golden age of Telugu literature was the Vijayanagara period. Uttaraharivamsam, a literary work was produced by the court poet, Nachana Somanatha. Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529), wrote an excellent prabandha named Amukta Malyada. Ashtadiggajas, eight Telugu literature were popular works in his court. Among them, literature named Manucharitram, by Allasani Peddana was the greatest. He was known as Andhra kavitapitamaha. Some of the author’s and their literature in Telugu are listed below:
- Dhurjati – Kalahasteeswara Mahatmayam and Kalahasteeswara Satakam
- Pingali Surana – Raghavapandaviyam and Kalapuranodayam
- Ramakrishna – Panduranga Mahatmayam
- Ramarajabhushana – Vasucharitram, Narasabhupaliyam and Harishchandra Nalopakhyanam.
- Madayagari Mallana – Rajashekharacharitra
- Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra – Ramabhyudayam and Sakalakathasara Sangraham.
Apart from Telugu, Vijayanagaras’s extended their patronage over Kannada and Sanskrit writers. Kannada literature was contributed by many Jain scholars. After the 10th century AD, the Kannada language was developed. The Kannada literatures in this period are Dharmanathapurana by Madhava, Dharma Parikshe by Uritta Vilasa, Kavirajamang by Rashtrakuta king, Nripatunga Amoghavarsha, Adi Purana and Vïkramarjiva Vijaya by Pampa, Shanti Purana by Ponna, and Ajitanatha Purano by Ranna. The title of Ratnatraya was given to Pampa, Ponna, and Ranna.
During the 13th century, many literary works were developed in Kannada. Some of them are Harishchandra Kavya and Somanatha Charita by Harishvara, Harivamshabhyudaya and Jiva Sambodhana by Bandhuvarma, Jagannathavijaya by Rudra Bhata, Madana Vijaya by Andayya, and Suktisudharnava by Mallikarjuna. The first Rama Katha in Kannada composed based on Valmiki’s Ramayana named Tarave Ramayana was written by Narahari. Sarvajna’s aphoristic tripadi (three-lined) compositions serve as a source of wisdom and ethics. Honnamma was the first outstanding poetess in Kannada. She wrote Hadibadeya Dharma (Duty of a Devout Wife).
The people of Kerala and the surrounded areas speak Malayalam. The language of Malayalam emerged in the 11th century AD and become an independent language in the 15th century. A commentary on Arthashastra and Kokasandisan are two great works written by Bhasa Kautilya. Rama Panikkar and Ramanuj were two great authors of Kannada literature. Malayalam has a powerful form of expression even though it has emerged lately. People always enjoy writing in their mother tongue. Nowadays, many newspapers and magazines are published in the magazine.